Teaching Evolution
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29-11-2013, 12:26 AM
Teaching Evolution
I wrote a little paper on teaching evolution that I hope to use to convince people in my circle that this is a good thing. I think it is a pretty settled matter already but I have a bunch of creationists in my life unfortunately that wont drop it. Instead of arguing this with each of them I want to put it on paper once and let them read it for themselves.

I'm not sure if there are logical errors or scientific errors. I am certain there are grammatical errors lol

If anyone is interested in giving me feedback or help it would be greatly appreciated
or If something like this has been done before I'd love to know it


feel free to use it in any way you like

It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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29-11-2013, 12:31 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution
hurp a durp forgot attachment here it is


Attached File(s)
.doc  Why Teach Evolution.doc (Size: 48.5 KB / Downloads: 25)

It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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29-11-2013, 01:52 AM (This post was last modified: 29-11-2013 02:57 AM by Chippy.)
RE: Teaching Evolution
(29-11-2013 12:26 AM)justanatheist Wrote:  or If something like this has been done before I'd love to know it

http://www.talkorigins.org/

I honestly can't see how your document would persuade a YEC that creationism is false and abiogenesis and evolution by natural selection are better explanations of life and speciation. If the matter could be settled in just 6 or so pages then the Origins archive wouldn't be so large; and even with the archive this large people still believe in YEC. People like Ray Comfort, Ken Ham and the Hovinds ask for evidence that doesn't exist, e.g. the Croco-Duck fossil or they believe there is some conspiracy to hide the truth of creationism.

Here is some depressing television and you can gain some sort of dubious satisfaction that the USA doesn't have a monopoly on conspiracy theorists or creationists:





As an aside, the authors of this book believe that efforts to refute creationism may be more effective if they commenced with geology rather than biology. I have the book but am yet to read it. It seems a naturally good starting point for addressing YEC because YECs start with the premise that the Earth is ~4K years old so when you try and explain speciation over a period longer than 4Kyo it falls on deaf ears. Abiogenesis and speciation make sense only when placed into the context of tens and hundreds of thousands of years.
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29-11-2013, 02:54 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution
You can't teach an old dogma new facts.
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29-11-2013, 04:54 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution



Kickstarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stat...ed-clearly

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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29-11-2013, 05:20 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution
(29-11-2013 12:26 AM)justanatheist Wrote:  I wrote a little paper on teaching evolution that I hope to use to convince people in my circle that this is a good thing. I think it is a pretty settled matter already but I have a bunch of creationists in my life unfortunately that wont drop it. Instead of arguing this with each of them I want to put it on paper once and let them read it for themselves.

I'm not sure if there are logical errors or scientific errors. I am certain there are grammatical errors lol

If anyone is interested in giving me feedback or help it would be greatly appreciated
or If something like this has been done before I'd love to know it


feel free to use it in any way you like
Good job Justan. I liked it, could have come out of my own thoughts. any recommendations I have would run it out 100 more pages.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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29-11-2013, 07:46 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution
(29-11-2013 01:52 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(29-11-2013 12:26 AM)justanatheist Wrote:  or If something like this has been done before I'd love to know it
I honestly can't see how your document would persuade a YEC that creationism is false and abiogenesis and evolution by natural selection are better explanations of life and speciation. If the matter could be settled in just 6 or so pages then the Origins archive wouldn't be so large; and even with the archive this large people still believe in YEC. People like Ray Comfort, Ken Ham and the Hovinds ask for evidence that doesn't exist, e.g. the Croco-Duck fossil or they believe there is some conspiracy to hide the truth of creationism.

Yeah, I see where you are coming from and I agree.

I don't think I had such grand plans for what I wrote. I was hoping to persuade them about teaching science in science class and theology in theology class.
I think the problem may be that the mental work is to taxing for the YEC to actually read those large books or documents. And was hoping to get them motivated enough to try to prove me wrong and do the research. Or at the very least stop them from arguing the specific points in the paper as I hear them alot.
Maybe it's a lost cause but someone could have just as easily wrote me off like that a few years ago and I'm glad they didn't

It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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29-11-2013, 08:43 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution
I think there is a difficulty on page 4 under "Which Model fits the bill". Which argument is simpler is a hard argument to make to a heavily biased audience. Take someone for whom the existence of a God is the founding assumption of their belief structure. You compare "evidence of our senses" with a series of complex statements. In a fundamentalist believer mindset the comparison is more like:
- The universe came into existence for no known reason, condensed into matter, formed into stars, exploded, formed into second and third generation stars, life started by random chance, and with no guiding hand lead to the eventual appearance of us - the best creatures that could possibly exist, and obviously the intended purpose of the whole process.
versus
- God said. I believe it. That settles it.
or
- God intentionally formed the universe to create us, the best creatures that could possibly exist, and obviously the intended purpose of the whole process
Wink

From this mindset Occam's razor seems to point in the other direction. You have to undo a lot of programming if you are going to put evolution directly in competition with the idea of an intelligent designer. I think it is cleaner and simpler to approach the whole question allowing for the possibility of a guiding hand. Specifically, put the question of the existence or nonexistence of a God aside and pose the question - Does earth's ecosystem, past fossils, embryology, junk DNA, etc look evolved or does it look specially created?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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29-11-2013, 09:21 AM
RE: Teaching Evolution
(29-11-2013 08:43 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  The universe came into existence for no known reason, condensed into matter, formed into stars, exploded, formed into second and third generation stars, life started by random chance, and with no guiding hand lead to the eventual appearance of us - the best creatures that could possibly exist, and obviously the intended purpose of the whole process.
versus
- God said. I believe it. That settles it.

Aahh that wasn't something I had thought about. I need to adjust my approach.
Glad I put it up to review before sending it to the target audience.
Thank you for the criticism and for taking the time to read and respond

It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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29-11-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: Teaching Evolution
I haven't read your paper yet, I'll take a look in a moment. But I wanted to comment on a surprising way I convinced a theist friend of mine, who (poorly) defended teaching creationism in school, that teaching creationism in schools is bad, and got her to accept not only evolution, but human evolution as well. Though still haven't gotten her to accept human evolution as far back as "monkeys" (her words, not mine).

What I did was, I simply taught her what Creationist actually believe. The details of it get so crazy even they can't support it. One example, creationist, surprisingly, actually believe in evolution. However they believe in this really weird crazy hyperfocused evolution on steroids. According to them, the flood happened only four thousand years ago, and to fit all those animals on the ark, they also believe they did not take two of each species, but two of each "kind" (because the bible says two of each "kind"). So in other worlds, not all the species of cats, but only one species. Not all species of salamanders from around the world, but only one species of salamanders, one of salamander "kind". I explain to them at this point, that creationist don't define what a "kind" is, so is there only one species for both salamanders and newts, only one for frogs and toads, only one for turtles and tortoises? Are lizards and snakes one "kind" or two. Or are boas one "kind", pythons one "kind, vipers one "kind", kings one "kind"? Are all birds one "kind" so they would have only had one mating pair of birds on board, and if they are split up into different groups of birds, what is the criteria by which this classification is done?

The point is to show, that they don't have any definition, so there is not actually anything they are actually teaching that a student can then use in the real world when working as a biologist. But they then believe, four thousand years ago, when the flood ended, the animals all got of, and evolution evolved the animals from only those one species of each "kind" into the diversity of animal species we both see alive today and in the 99.9% we see in the fossil record. So, considering we clearly have no recordings of the 99.9% of animal species that evolved in just four thousand years ago, and that, for some unknown reason, died off by three thousand years ago, no record of them in the past few thousand years of written history, they basically claim that evolution, within "kinds" happened so quickly, in only about a thousand years, that one species of cat, could produce all the large and small cat species we see today, and the ones in the fossil record. In one thousand years one species of lizard created all the lizard species in the world, and all the extinct ones, same with all other species or "kinds". This is evolution that is insanely fast, in only one thousand years. So fast that, ironically, it would be viewable from species to species, from year to year. We should, according to creationist at this time, be able to see one species of animal, literally give birth to a completely new species, and then, about three thousand years ago, for no apparent reason, evolution just slowed way down, so that we don't she thousands of new animal species being produced every year, like what would have happened immediately after the flood. You teach that to the person who believes in creationism because they don't like evolution and they will no longer know what to think of creationism.

There are plenty of other examples, but just find the worst offenders, teach them what it actually says, and it will fall apart.

...
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